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NHL Lockout 2012: More waiting, less time to make a deal

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Talks continue to sit at a standstill.

Bruce Bennett

Here are a few musings I've had the past couple of days:

- First off, let's start with some good news. J.T. Miller looks like he will be centering the top line at the World Juniors. That's pretty awesome for him, and the experience should be invaluable for his development. It looks like the USA brass has seen the same things in Miller that the Rangers did. Let's hope he does well, although I expect him to be fine.

- Back to the lockout, both sides are waiting again. And waiting. And waiting. Through all of this mess there has been one key theme. Care to guess what it is? "The two sides touched base but no talks scheduled." The difference right now? The two sides aren't talking at all. Some suggest that's a good thing. Me? Put them back into a room. At some point they need to talk again. The players are ready, but the NHL is trying to take control. I don't blame them, they've lost control more than a few times during these negotiations.

- Some players are starting to show some frustration that the two sides aren't meeting. I can't blame them. The NHL probably loves that, and thinks it's going to help crack the union. It won't. The NHLPA is stronger than ever, and most of that strength has come from the NHL's flawed attempts to break them.

- I was watching Transforming The Garden the other day. Man I miss it. I really do.

- What comes next? I don't know. The two sides might take this all the way. The general consensus is that both sides want to play. Neither side trusts each other, though, and that's an issue that's stalled these talks from the beginning. That's only going to get worse the longer this drags on.

- I've been asked a few times if I think there will be a season. My response? I don't know. I think there will be one, but it wouldn't shock me if there wasn't.

- I will end with this: The Bill Daly thing. If you don't know what I'm talking about, Daly was asked if there was going to be a season during a radio interview an he said yes. Maybe that was his own personal opinion, but it sent shockwaves through the hockey community. Just know this: The NHL isn't going to force a deal because Daly said there would be a season.